Exclusive interview: Jim Whimpey of Useless Account

Every once in a while I run across a new Web 2.0 company so unique, so cutting edge...
Written by Alan Graham, Contributor

Every once in a while I run across a new Web 2.0 company so unique, so cutting edge...that I just have to profile and promote it. Such is the case of Useless Account. From Brisbane Creative, Useless Account is one of those products that reminds you why we do what we do.

  1. Good use of gradient.
  2. Does one thing and does it very well.
  3. Full of Ajax-y goodness
  4. Free

 So I contacted one of the creators of Useless Account, Jim Whimpey, and scored the exclusive first interview.

So Jim, you seem to have created what looks like the pinnacle of account sign up services, can you give us a litle more background info on the service?

The idea came to me after creating an account at Twitter, spending 15 minutes meticulously altering the display options of my account page before realising I didn't want to know what everyone was doing all the time and I didn't want to tell anyone.

I'd created an account before I'd taken a second to think about what I was signing up for. So Useless Account was conceived to take the piss out of that process. A couple of afternoons and one weekend later, here it is.

What's your business plan?

Sit tight, wait for a knock on the door from Google or Yahoo. 

So you would consider an acquisition if you had the right offer?
Seriously, I don't know. They'd be buying user account information and little else, that makes me really uncomfortable. It'd be as if I've just created the whole thing to harvest email addresses for the purpose of selling them. It's certainly not what I created UA for, I didn't think anyone would sign up at all. If I did sell it, I'd consult a lawyer or something and unless I was 100% sure they wouldn't spam the users I wouldn't sell it. Anyway, it's all irrelevant, who would by a Useless Account service?


Are you currently funded or are you looking for your first round?
No, the whole application came out of my own pocket. If I was to receive a round of funding I could really only use it to keep the site useless, not that I wouldn't take it. Though, to be honest with you, I've already put too much work into it, I'd much prefer to simply sell out to the first company to show any interest. That's the only reason people create web applications? Right?

I see that you offer unlimited account editing, but many online services also offer the same feature. How do you plan on competing?
While many other online services do provide this feature it's included in a "compulsory, on top of our real service" way. UA really focuses on account creation and editing. That's what sets us apart and I think people realise and appreciate this.

What are your future plans? Will you be adding additional fields? Themes? Custom buttons? Things that blink?
One user suggested a public page holding their answers displayed at uselessaccount.com/username. I don't think that'd add to it's usefulness too much. I've just added the displaying of your member # at the top of the edit account page, I'm worried that's added too much bloat. It's funny, since it's launch there's been a lot of emails and comments with suggestions of additions to UA but if I add anything, it's taking away from it's uselessness and I just can't have that. I have a brand to uphold!

Any plans for a Useless Account blog service?
Nah, Blogger and Myspace have that market saturated.


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